Sunday, October 18, 2009

two projects...

house numbers now adorn my favorite pumpkin and i assembled what is probably the world's easiest (and cheapest) DIY centerpiece:
i already had the hurricane (and the kitty), the mini pumpkins were 3/$1 at the pumpkin patch and the leaves were free from my yard, such a saver i am! i have some other ideas for easy/cheap fall projects but in the mean time, what are your ideas for recessionary decor?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

pumpkin project...

i really hate carving pumpkins, way too messy and they take way too long for the few days that they're viable as decoration, here's my new plan:i'll be painting our nouse numbers on that white pumpkin and put it on the porch with our newly monogrammed pumpkin, first though, they need some clear coat!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

family time...

spent most of thursday with my grandmother, her brother and his son, and my gma's sister-in-law and niece. we had a great time at the snite, notre dame's amazing art museam which had several new pieces that i'm very excited abouti know this one doesn't seem like something i would like but this was painted by a 19 year old soldier recalling his experience as father sorin (the founder of ND) sermoned to the soldiers during the civil war.but i was disappointed that one of my favorite paintings wasn't hanging and that, as educated as many of them are, they don't 'understand' modern art and have 'no idea why anyone would paint it' (actualy quotes from our visit). We did have such the good lunch at legends. if you're in the mood for good pub food i'd highly reccomend the ruben or spicey tilapia po-boy. after that we went to the basillica on campus and got a tour which was super detailed which ran a bit late so we missed the museum area that shows several old relics which is, in my opinion, one of the best parts, but we did learn a bit about why the murals and stained glass are way more purposeful than anyone really takes the time to notice. even though many of our conversations throughout the day involved health problems (my dad's aunt that was with us has lukemia but is doing much better that i would have thought), the inevitable one-upping of 'my grandchild did this', and our government ('i just don't think michelle obama looks like a first lady' 'she's too masculine') and the prices of things which, with the family growing up in michigan, immediately turned to apples (note: had it been earlier this year we would have been discussing asparagus) seriously, one conversation went like this:

'enough talk about politics, can you believe the price of apples? i thought we had an abundance but last week the honeycrisp were up to $2.39 a pound'

'that's why i like the school boy size red delicious, just enough to eat at once and i get more in a bag'

'i got some northern spie at the (insert farmer's name here) that are so good, and just the right size for pies'

'oh yes, they hold up so well'

it was hilarious!!! i love my family and spending time with the older relatives but i am so happy that many of them live out of town and that we don't spend every day together, i don't think i could handle it :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

first fall dinner...

being that fall has quickly arrived here in northern indiana i decided that it was time to make a good fall dinner, complete with a nice fall dessert. i made a delicious pork roast, roasted red potatoes and amish noodles. i know i've talked several times about trying to be budget conscience and i know others of you are as well so, just so you know, the dinner portion of our meal cost about $10 and there was enough food for roughly 10 people. for dessert i made my own creation, an apple pie cup and it was delish (and with only 2 ingredients to buy because i had basic baking ingredients in the house it was super budget friendly at right around $3 for 8 servings)!

so here's the recipe:

1 can gran's biscuits (or any other 8ct. canned biscuits), 3 large apples (i used honeycrisp because they were on sale) - peeled, cored and cut into small chunks, 2T sugar, 2T cinnamon, 1/2 C oats, 2T butter, 1/4 C brown sugar, pinch of salt

*put apples, sugar, 1T cinnamon and a small amount of water in saucepan and simmer until apples are tender and sauce has reduced to slightly runny syrup (probably 20-30 minutes or so)

*preheat oven to 350

*take a muffin/cupcake pan and flip over so cups point up, flatten biscuits into large enough rounds so that one biscuit covers a whole muffin cup (try to stagger so they don't stick together) and bake until golden (10-12 minutes) then remove for cooling.

*make strusel topping with oats, butter, the remaining 1T cinnamon, brown sugar and pinch of salt (mix with fingers/fork/pastry blender until butter chunks are throughly dispersed and your mix feels like wet sand

*divide apples with sauce among the 8 biscuit cups and top with strusel topping

*return to oven until topping looks crispy (maybe 8 minutes, not really sure!)

*consume carefully, the biscuits are super flaky so they have potential to make a big mess!!!

these cups can be used for sooooo much more (thanks to Rachel Ray for the cup idea although i can't remember exactly what she used for filling). here are a few ideas:

~cream of mushroom soup, shredded chicken & veggies for mini pot pies

~eggs, sausage & cheese for breakfast cups (although for this one i'd pull the biscuits off the tins a bit earlier so they don't burn while you're waiting for the eggs to finish cooking)

~pasta sauce, pre-cooked meat, cheese, veggies, etc for deep-dish pizza cups

~sausage gravy bowls ('nuff said!)

~soups/stews of almost any sort

and yes, i know that canned biscuits are not exactly the most healthy but you really only need to eat one for dessert (or share with a loved one) and you can always make them either from scratch or use the heart healthy bisquick and, of course, you can modify the ingredients. the easiest option as always though, is moderation! i'll try to guestimate the points/calories for those that care but it will have to be tomorrow! g'nite :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

i never thought it would happen...

... and since i was there to witness it and will be providing pictures there's no way anyone can say 'pics or it didn't happen'.

for those of you that aren't aware of the amazing thing that transpired, let me first give you some background. our story begins long ago (the fall of 1980 to be exact) at mishawaka high school, a couple years before i was born to be exact. mishawaka high school beat their biggest cross-town rival, penn high school in one of those 'who saw it coming' football games. Since that day in the fall 1980, every time mishawaka and penn played football it has been one of those must-see games. several times the score was close, several other times it was a total blow-out and our cavemen (mishawaka) walked off the field with their heads hanging low and fans devastated. we always got pumped up at the friday pep-rally's saying 'this will be the year' and every time we lost. seriously, not a single win against the penn football team in the 28 years that followed. the last fews years have been heartbreakers, near wins, penalties that caused a loss and even some bad calls that both sides thought cost the game for the cavemen. tonight was completely different. mom, lisa, casi, paige & i left lisa's house around 6pm tonight, an hour before the game was supposed to start, and by the time we got there it was hard to find a parking spot and the crowds were crazy. we found some of the last available seats and watched as the crowds filled the stadium and then started filling space on the track. this is the first time i've seen them allow track seating for anyone other than the handicapped. we got our hotdogs (love a $1 hotdog at the game) and prepared for the game to start. i know paige doesn't look happy here but she was really hoping to be the one taking the picturethe girls cheering with the pompons they got from chic-fil-ai won't bother with the play-by-play but we scored, they scored, then we scored and kept scoring to a final score of 26-10!!! during the last quarter they allowed people to get onto the track and wait until the end to rush the field. hundreds of past, current and future students were out there, but not a single person i recognized that i could go celebrate on the field with so we watched them rush the field
and we celebrated the win we weren't sure if we'd ever see which was truely amazing!

not only did lisa and i both graduate from mishawaka but our dad did as well, and knowing that casi & paige will eventually go to mishawaka made it an extra emotional evening for us.